Portoferraio is the capital of Elba, the largest island in the Tuscan archipelago.

The port lies within the town, and the “Deep water” quay, where the majority of cruise ships call, is nearby the historic centre. The passenger finds himself inside the Medicean town, between fashionable shops and small restaurants, not far from places redolent of napoleonic memories.

Infact, from 1814 to 1815 the island was the home in exile of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose 10 months government here has left many traces. He built roads, riorganized the mining economy, increased the production and exportation of the local wines; from  an ancient deconstructed church he made a charming theatre, the Teatro dei Vigilanti, which, thanks to a clever restoration, is today home to important international cultural events.

He also left two magnificent residences, both of which are now national museums frequented by thousands of visitors each year : the Villa dei Mulini, where the visitor can admire period furniture and furnishings, autographed letters and various paintings, and the summer residence at San Martino, some 4 miles from Portoferraio.

Luxury coaches are available at the foot of the gangway, ready to carry the visitor on trips to the most attractive corners of the island.

Infact Portoferraio is the entrance-way to that extraordinary assemblage of history, nature and culture which we call Elba. Those visiting the island during a cruise can delve into past history with a visit to the remains of the Roman villas at Le Grotte and Capo Castello.

The 27 Kilometers of Elba’s length consists of uncontaminated natural countryside: from jagged coast to beaches  of rock and sand, to mountain landscapes of the inland. In addition, Elba offers a harsher side, to be seen in the golden colours of the quarries, which man has worked here to extract a vast range of minerals, surrounded by nature in the form of immense cactus plants.

An alternative excursion offers the opportunity to admire tiny villages, strung out a couple of miles one from the other, overlooking one of the most sparkling seas of the whole Mediterranean, or hidden away on mountainous slopes amid the green of the chestnut forests.

On the island the genuine flavours of a simple but tasty cuisine can be found, offering fish, vegetables and desserts prepared from ancient recipes which have taken the best from traditions of Tuscany, accompanied by exquisite local wines.

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